standard of conduct of officers; simplified
short-form mergers and merger consideration; clarified the triggers and interest
rate for dissenters’ rights; and permitted
cross-border conversions, among a host
of other minor changes.
The second MSBA proposal was authored and advanced by our Real Property
Law Section, and contained a variety of
technical tweaks and updates, including
removing gendered language from statutes involving marital property, expanding and clarifying the transfer on death
deeds (TODDs) statute, clarifying liability for a wrongfully executed mortgage
satisfaction or release, and streamlining
the time element of redemption periods
that appear in statute. The bill was carried by two lawyer-legislators, Rep. Melissa Hortman (D-Brooklyn Center) and
Sen. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson).
The bill sailed through both houses with
unanimous votes and became session law,
The MSBA’s remaining initiative
originated as a dual proposal by the Tax
Law Section and Minnesota CLE. The
issue arose after the enactment of the
2013 tax bill, which put a sales tax on
digital goods. Often referred to as the
“Amazon Tax,” it was intended for digital downloads of various media. Following conflicting interpretations from the
Department of Revenue it remained uncertain whether the sales tax extended
to live-streaming events such as CLE
webinars. To clarify the ambiguous interpretation, a bill was heard in each body
clearly stating that such digital works
are not to be taxed under Minnesota
law. The original bill was carried by a
heavy-hitter of all things tax, Sen. Ann
Rest (D-New Hope), and a new face and
rising star in the House, Rep. Yvonne
Selcer (D-Minnetonka). The language
of the bill was folded into what became
known as “Tax Bill 2,” a $103 million tax
cut bill that passed the legislature on the
last day of the session (see above). As is
tradition, that bill was authored by the
two Tax Committee chairs, Rep. Ann
Lenczewski (D-Bloomington) and Sen.
Rod Skoe (D-Clearbrook).
A number of additional MSBA legis-
Notable New Laws
lative priorities came to fruition this year
with the support of Bar members and sec-
tions. Spearheaded by the Uniform Law
Commissioners, the Revised Uniform
Limited Liability Company Act will be-
come law (Chapter 157). Additionally,
due in large part to the dedicated work of
a group of MSBA members, the Minneso-
ta Public Benefit Corporation Act passed,
creating the possibility of an entirely new
business entity for entrepreneurs with a
social purpose (Chapter 172). Finally,
after many years of consideration, an
expungement reform bill has been signed
into law, making it easier for past offend-
ers to clear the slate (Chapter 246).
Unfortunately, a few bills failed to
gain traction or passage this year. An-
other attempt was made to advance leg-
islation on judicial selection reform, but
the bill (known as the Impartial Justice
Act) failed to gain the necessary support
to move it out of committee. And, after
clearing committee hurdles, a family law
bill regulating surrogacy and assisted re-
production was unable to garner enough
support to receive floor votes in the
House and Senate.
As in every legislative session, the
Bar’s affirmative agenda is only a small
part of the work that is done under the
Capitol dome. Heartfelt gratitude goes
out to section chairs, legislative liaisons,
and individual members who stepped up
time and again to lend their expertise,
whether in drafting, analysis, testimony,
or discussion of the issues of the day. The
MSBA’s high standing and respect in St.
Paul is due to this depth of member in-
volvement and assistance. Thank you all
so very much.
The following is a summary of new
laws that will interest attorneys in a
wide variety of practice areas. If you wish
to read any of them in their entirety, a
list of session laws is available at https://
Chapter 150, the first omnibus tax bill, included changes to individual income, corporate franchise, property, sales and use,
estate, mineral, local, and other taxes and
tax-related provisions. The bill provides
for federal conformity, modifies estate tax
provisions including changing tax rates
for estates, repeals the gift tax, modifies
the definition of sale and purchase, and
modifies sales tax exemptions. The bill repeals the three controversial business-to-business taxes that were passed in 2013.
Chapter 153 changes the service requirements for expert witness affidavits in
malpractice cases to conform with recent changes to the Minnesota Rules of
Civil Procedure. Affidavits must now be
served on the defendant no later than
180 days after the commencement of
discovery, instead of the commencement
of the lawsuit.
Chapter 157 enacts the Minnesota Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act, regulating LLC organization
Chapter 171 aims to reduce the time
people with serious mental illness stay
in jail without access to mental health
treatment by requiring that courts al-
low simultaneous competency and civil
commitment examinations for defen-
dants facing criminal charges, in certain
Chapter 172, the Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Act, provides rules for
the organization and operation of general
and specific public benefit corporations.
Chapter 173 changes the provisions of
the Safe at Home program so participants can buy property in a manner that
protects their identities. The Safe at
Home program is designed to protect
survivors of domestic violence, sexual
assault, stalking, or others who fear for
Chapter 177 increases the time limit for
warrantless arrests in misdemeanor and
gross misdemeanor domestic abuse offenses from 24 hours to 72 hours. This
bill also clarifies probable cause arrests
for violations of protection, restraining,
and no contact orders.
Chapter 180 restructures the criminal
vehicular operation statute by creating
separate sections relating to criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular
Chapter 186 requires a driver to stop and
investigate possible personal injury or
property damage following a collision.
Chapter 188 establishes remedies for victims of violence to terminate lease agreements.
Chapter 189 updates the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
Chapter 191 clarifies the statute of limitations for foreclosure claims and amends
the definition of a small servicer.
Chapter 197 makes changes to custody
and parenting time provisions.
Chapter 200 clarifies existing law related
to partial payment or reimbursement of
costs from a party proceeding in forma
Chapter 201 modifies judicial forfeiture
of property associated with controlled
substance offenses and vehicles used in
Chapter 202 modifies the review process
of district judges’ 90-day disposition requirements, allowing for notice and action to be taken.